The Rowing and Canoe Sprint events during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place at the Eton College Rowing Centre at Dorney Lake near Windsor. Set in a 450-acre parkland, the venue currently consists of a 2,000-metre, 8-lane rowing lake, return lane and associated competition facilities.
The venue's existing facilities will be enhanced to provide improved facilities for athlete warm-up and Canoe Sprint events during the London 2012 Games. The venue was visited today to view the construction work underway on the enhanced facilities by Matt Smith Executive Director at the International Rowing Federation (FISA), Alison Nimmo ODA Director of Design and Regeneration, and Debbie Jevans Director of Sports at the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG).
Matt Smith, Executive Director at the International Rowing Federation (FISA) said: "Eton Dorney has already established itself as one of the best rowing courses in the world. It will be a great venue to host the Olympic and Paralympic events in 2012. It was good to visit the site again and to see construction work underway early-on. I look forward to seeing these enhanced facilities take shape in the run-up to 2012."
Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee said:
"Eton Dorney is a superb venue set in the heart of rowing country. These enhancements show our commitment to providing the best possible facilities at Games time, whilst avoiding spending unnecessary money on creating new venues. Eton Dorney is a world class venue that hosts elite level competition as well as community events, it is a venue of which we can all be proud."
Alison Nimmo, ODA Director of Design and Regeneration, said: "Eton College Rowing Centre is a first-class venue and the enhancements we are delivering will create the best possible facilities for the world's best athletes to use in 2012. The start of construction work at Eton Dorney is an important milestone and shows we are making good progress not just on the Olympic Park but across the 2012 project at venues around the country. These are essential works but we have organised our construction activity to minimise disruption to the regular users of Dorney Lake."
Ivor Lloyd, Managing Director at Eton College Rowing Centre, said: "We have a fantastic venue and the improved infrastructure will help optimise the showcasing of the event for the worldwide media coverage. In legacy there will be additional operational benefits for the venue by bringing us up to the latest design standard for an International course."
The construction of enhanced facilities at Dorney Lake includes:
- The installation of a new 50-metre span finish line bridge over a widened entrance to the return lane for two-way vehicular traffic and segregated pedestrian traffic
- Construction of a cut-through between the competition lake and the return lane, with a new bridge over the cut-through
- The upgrade of the existing gravel/stone access road up to the competition venue to facilitate construction works and for use during the Games
Construction work is now underway on site with a 50m temporary bridge now lifted into place to provide temporary access across the return lane. Work to demolish and remove the existing finish line bridge is also well underway and works to construct the new, enhanced finish line bridge is due to start on site next month. The Eton Dorney enhancement works are expected to be complete in Spring 2010.